The 8th edition of the much-awaited Indian Super League starts on November 19th and everyone is buzzing. The teams are preparing to give everything they have to get their hands on the trophy. Players have traded logos and teams have found new sponsors as the League gets bigger every year.
Apart from the obvious prize that is the Winner’s trophy, the tournament awards other achievements as well. There is the Golden Boot (highest goalscorer), the Golden Glove (best goal-keeper) and the Winning Pass (highest assists). And of course, there is the Emerging Player Award (best young Indian Player). Here are the top 5 predictions for the Emerging Player Award.
Hyderabad FC’s No.10 has rapidly come up the ranks in the past 2 years. After joining Hyderabad FC from Pune City FC on a free transfer, the winger has shown what he is truly worth. He is predominantly a left-winger who can also play as a wing-back. A very intelligent player both on and off the ball.
An impressive performance at the SAFF Championship not long ago can be carried forward into the ISL. He registered a single assist for the national team and will be crucial to Hyderabad FC. A good number of assists and goals will surely bring him the trophy.
Suresh Singh Wangjam
Last season was a season to forget for Bengaluru FC. For the very first time ever since they joined the ISL, they failed to make it to the play-offs. But even in a dull year for the club, Suresh Singh Wangjam had an impressive season showing his true self.
He was bright at the SAFF Championship and the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers becoming one of Igor Stimac’s favourites. He puts on a good shift in the middle of the park and if he can be a greater threat on the ball, Bengaluru FC will be back to their free-will goalscoring ways.
This Durand Cup saw a number of breakout performances from teams and players. Muhammed Nemil is one such player who was key to FC Goa’s title-winning campaign. He signed for FC Goa 2 years ago but spent the time on loan in Spain. His coaches have been monitoring his progress over the 2 years and feel that he is ready to play in the ISL.
Nemil has already proven that he is ready to play in the bigger league. A lot of Indian Football’s progress goes down to successful Spanish coaches and players. Since Nemil has learnt from the best, he has everything to be the emerging player if he takes his chances well.
Young Rahim Ali has been lighting fireworks everywhere he has been. He was a part of the National team that won the SAFF Championship and also the U-23 squad that had a good run in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers. He bagged the Man of the Match award in the friendly against Nepal.
Chennaiyin FC have been known to produce a number of young talents over the years. Rahim Ali is another one and will be a top contender to win this title.
Ever since he broke into the scene in 2017 with the U-17 team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Dheeraj has been a player to watch. Even though he has struggled to show his true form in the ISL, this season might be it for the young man between the sticks.
He was the backbone of the team in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers. Save after save he kept the team’s hopes alive throughout the tournament. He will be a top contender for the Emerging Player Award.
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